Better Fate Than Never

Better Fate Than Never

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Summary

When Finn Jacobs inherited the dilapidated Orchard Farm from a distant relative, his immediate strategy was to sell it and pocket the profit. Falling in love with the property at first sight and deciding to restore it, had never been part of his grand plan. Discovering a long-forgotten time capsule during the renovation work set Finn on a fateful path, to identify its original owner. And that's when Jenny Hargreaves appeared, snapping and snarling, into his life. From the first moment they laid eyes upon each other, sparks were destined to fly. He had certainly never been part of her grand plan either.... This is a sneak preview of an ebook, due to be published on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited on Wednesday 25th September 2019.

Summary

When Finn Jacobs inherited the dilapidated Orchard Farm from a distant relative, his immediate strategy was to sell it and pocket the profit. Falling in love with the property at first sight and deciding to restore it, had never been part of his grand plan.

Discovering a long-forgotten time capsule during the renovation work set Finn on a fateful path, to identify its original owner. And that's when Jenny Hargreaves appeared, snapping and snarling, into his life. From the first moment they laid eyes upon each other, sparks were destined to fly. He had certainly never been part of her grand plan either....

This is a sneak preview of an ebook, due to be published on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited on Wednesday 25th September 2019.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: September 22, 2019

Reads: 950

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: September 22, 2019

A A A

A A A

Jenny silently ground her teeth as she shuffled past a screaming toddler who was apparently at the very height of a meltdown.Purposefully avoiding eye contact with the child’s despairing young father, she skilfully dodged being pelted by half-chewed chunks of banana and slipping in puddles of orange juice now covering the slick floor.Relieved to be re-united with her shopping trolley, Jenny marched purposefully towards the cereal aisle, cursing the fact that she’d failed to submit her internet shopping order on time.How anybody ever maintained their sanity prior to the invention of online shopping, she would never know.Much of Jenny’s life had been spent avoiding her least favourite activity of shopping and today was a prime example of why.At least she wasn’t attempting a food shop at the weekend, which would have been sheer, certifiable madness.

Loitering momentarily in the wine and spirits section, Jenny’s focus was broken as she heard a distinctly familiar voice partaking in a one-sided mobile phone conversation.Looking up, she tried her best not to stare as, with his trademark shock of ginger hair, Jimmy Jones strolled up beside her to grab an expensive bottle of whisky from the adjacent shelf.Immediately Jenny focussed an unnatural amount of attention on the bottles of sherry she’d been perusing, but long-gone was any thought of buying a present for her grandmother.Instead, every nerve in her body was fine-tuned towards eavesdropping on his conversation.

Put simply, Jimmy Jones wasn’t just their local celebrity; he was Britain’s hottest singer-songwriter.His star was very much in the ascendancy, with his latest album snatching the number one slot both at home and in the States.Jenny couldn’t help but think how nice it was that he still frequented the local supermarket.After that famous first album had become an international success, he could well have been forgiven for falling into outlandish behaviour, as many had before him.And yet, perhaps thanks to a well-grounded family who ensured his feet remained firmly on the ground, he was regularly seen out and about in the local town, often supporting local community functions.

Jimmy’s much awaited follow-up album, due out later in the year, was tipped to go stellar across the globe.The recent engagement announcement to his childhood sweetheart had completed the fairy tale in Jenny’s mind and part of her longed to go over and congratulate him.However, the moment passed, as he turned and walked away.Besides, she didn’t want to look like an adoring, slightly mental fan; he was bound to have plenty of those to contend with and no doubt just wanted to be left in peace.Rubbing her slightly flushed face, she glanced down at the crumpled shopping list, before exhaling a sigh of relief.Only her grandmother’s favourite biscuits to pick up and she could be out of this hellhole, once and for all.

Having located the appropriate shelf, Jenny’s mood momentarily brightened.Not only were the biscuits in stock…just, but they were part of a Buy One Get One Free deal. Peering into the darkened shelving area, she saw two remaining packs, stacked right at the back of the shelf. Result!Bending down, Jenny stretched her arm into the depths of the narrow shelf, her hesitantly exploring fingers eventually coming into contact with an object.Placing the first packet of biscuits triumphantly into her trolley, she turned to repeat the exercise, only to be confronted by the back of a man who was crouching over to claim the final pack.

‘Excuse me?’ exclaimed Jenny in a distinctly unamused tone.‘Those are my biscuits!’

In slow motion, the well-built stranger rose to his full six foot two inches in height before turning to face her.Jenny momentarily felt the air squeezed from her lungs, removing any ability to continue in her tirade.The man in front of her was, quite simply, breathtaking; olive skin and a broken nose, coupled with dark hair and even darker eyes which seemed to pierce through to her very soul and read every single thought.It was an uncomfortable feeling and one she didn’t appreciate much, particularly when her nipples began to tighten in reaction. She felt grateful to be wearing a loose fleece jumper which prevented him from discovering the extent of his impact; the man looked quite self-confident enough, without requiring that kind of ego boost.Just in case he did have keen powers of observation however, she folded her arms across her breasts, merely helping to exacerbate her angry stance.

‘Hmmm?’ he replied, drinking in the sexy woman standing before him.What was it about a beautiful, angry woman that roused him so?Perhaps he found the associated emotions he observed to be closely aligned with arousal and a loss of control.With her long tortoiseshell hair, blue eyes and tall frame, displaying curves in all the right places, she threatened to tick every single box of desirable attributes he’d ever considered, whilst offering up some helpful suggestions for potential new line items.

‘They’re my biscuits,’ she croaked, impressed to find her voice was still working.‘Part of a BOGOF deal.’

‘Huh?’ he responded with a lazy smile.She looked incredulously at him, as though he’d been living in a cave.How could he not know about the most common of all supermarket deals?And then the answer hit her.

‘You must be foreign?’ she stated, rolling her eyes in frustration.‘Are you not from this country?’ 

‘Ah, non,’ he replied in a rich, French accent, grasping onto the idea.She didn’t need to know that, for a brief moment, she had rendered him temporarily speechless.‘What is zees Bog Off?It is très rude, n’est-ce pas?’

‘Buy.One. Get.One.Free,’ replied Jenny in an excessively laboured way, as though dealing with somebody who had a negative I.Q.

‘I don’t shop regularly,’ he muttered, realising far too late that “regularly” was practically impossible to say in a French accent…probably even if you’re French.He saw her raise a quizzical eyebrow and knew he was skating on thin ice. His accent had already started to drift towards having an Indian inflection.It would be South African next, and then she’d just assume he was a loon.He needed to move this charade along.

‘Those biscuits,’ she said in a tone which suggested she was not to be trifled with, stabbing her finger towards his basket. ‘Mine,’ she demanded, turning the finger to point at her own chest.

‘Oui, you can have zee biscuit,’ he replied, relieved to note he was well and truly French once more.

‘Thank you,’ she breathed in relief.

‘Zee payment is one keess,’ he continued.

‘I begyour pardon?’ she exclaimed with unconstrained, ice-cold outrage.

‘I zink you heard me,’ he replied, shrugging his shoulders in a very French way.

‘How bloody well dare you!’ she breathed and, spinning on her heel as best she could whilst pushing a trolley, she stomped away.He couldn’t help but chuckle to himself as he heard the departing comment, muttered under her breath.

‘Goddam randy Frenchmen!’

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

With her equilibrium entirely thrown off balance, a flushed Jenny stalked along the aisle to pick up an alternative product, before heading directly to the checkout tills; her only thought was to get away from this place and back to the safety of her home, as quickly as physically possible. As she began to empty her shopping onto the conveyor belt, one of the first items she picked up was a single packet of her grandmother’s biscuits.Immediately, Jenny felt her heart harden against that dreadful man.She was only part way through her task, when her attention was drawn towards an animated conversation taking place a few tills down the line.

‘Finn!’ exclaimed the world-renowned voice of Jimmy Jones with obvious delight.‘How ya doing, Buddy?I didn’t realise you were back!’

Along with a number of her fellow shoppers, Jenny turned to observe the source of the commotion and was astonished by the sight of Jimmy Jones warmly embracing the obnoxious Frenchman.Unable to tear her eyes away, she continued to load her items onto the conveyor belt, without paying one iota’s worth of attention to what she was doing.

‘Yeah, I’m really great thanks,’ replied Finn in a cut-glass English accent.Jenny felt her jaw physically drop.Blood rushed to her abdomen at the mere sound of his voice; a low, rumbling melody that involuntarily lifted every hair on the back of her neck and sent crackles of electricity into the base of her skull.And yet her reaction was accompanied by confusion; why had he pretended to be French?

‘I’ve only been back a few weeks.I was planning to pop round and say hi.’

‘That’s so great you’re back!’ Jimmy exclaimed.‘Yes, you must come over soon!’

‘I’d love to.And I hear congratulations are in order,’ he teased.Clearly the men had a close and long-standing friendship. ‘Tilly’s agreed to make an honest man out of you, at long last?’

‘Well,’ said Jimmy in a low, confiding tone, which caused Jenny to lean slightly towards them, in order to pick up every nuance of their private conversation.‘When it’s right, you just know,’ he confessed.At exactly the same moment, Finn’s dark eyes swivelled round to catch Jenny’s gaze, before sending her a brief wink.Her body reacted immediately, causing her stomach to descend into freefall whilst her brain went fuzzy.Such was the violence of her response that she threw her hand out against the counter for support.

‘That’s so true,’ he confirmed, still giving Jenny his undivided attention across the heads of several other shoppers. Realising his friend’s concentration was absorbed elsewhere, Jimmy turned to look in the same direction. Utterly appalled, she found herself the centre of both men’s unwanted scrutiny.

‘Do you have your own bags?’ asked a loud voice, in a tone which suggested the question had already been previously asked, with no response.

‘Oh, yes.Sorry, yes,’ replied a flustered Jenny, immediately breaking her connection with Finn, in order to answer the under-paid, under-valued checkout assistant. Taking a step past the employee, a deeply blushing Jenny began to pack her groceries into bags, not daring to look up again, in case either man was still facing in her direction.With her head down, she funnelled all of her focus into packing.However, confusion quickly took hold; there seemed to be two packets of the BOGOF biscuits that had caused Finn and her to initially converse.She realised he must have snuck the second pack into her trolley, when her back had been turned.God! The man was infuriating!Biting her tongue in frustration, she quickly paid for her shopping and fled from the shop, looking neither left nor right and hoping never to lay eyes on him again.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With unusual viciousness, Jenny crammed the shopping bags into her vehicle before slamming the car door shut and returning her trolley to the appropriate bay.She was hardly able to believe neither her eyes, nor her bad luck, when Finn meandered over to the four by four which was parked alongside her.

‘Fate,’ he observed, lazily opening his car door, before dropping his shopping bag onto the passenger seat.

‘No such thing,’ she spat, flicking her long hair away from her face.For a long moment, he observed her intently, his guarded expression giving nothing away.

‘Finn,’ he said at last, holding his hand out in introduction whilst doing his best to ignore her obvious anger at his mere existence.

‘So the whole supermarket overheard,’ said Jenny primly, refusing his gesture of goodwill.

‘And your name is?’ he prompted bravely.

‘None of your business!’ she replied, immediately regretting her rudeness, but unsure of how else to deal with him.Unexpectedly finding herself unable to defrost even a single degree, she continued.‘So, you’re not French anymore, then?’

‘No, sorry,’ he grinned, the amusement in his voice evident.

‘Care to explain?’

‘You’d already categorised me into a specific stereotype,’ he shrugged.‘I was just trying to conform to your small-town prejudices…’

‘I do NOT have prejudices, small-town or otherwise!’ she exploded, hardly able to contain herself.This man seemed to be able to press every button she had; she could merrily strangle him right now.

‘…that,’ he continued, ignoring her outburst, ‘if a person didn’t understand the intricacies of supermarket discounting options on offer, they must automatically be foreign, or stupid, or both.’ 

As it happened, previous partners had tended to sort out the supermarket shop, so Finn wasn’t that well versed in the delights of such deals.Over the past year, internet shopping had been the name of the game; he’d set it up so he could just re-order the same, week on week.Possibly not very exciting, but it got the tedious task of shopping done, literally with the click of a mouse.Unfortunately, being without an internet connection in recent weeks had somewhat stymied his normal modus operandi.However, this was all information the beautiful yet haughty woman standing before him, simply didn’t need to know.

‘It’s a pity you’re not French,’ she growled. ‘French men can be very sexy.’

‘Ah, so speaking to you in a French accent was an inspired stroke of genius, then?’Jenny shot Finn a withering look, which would have floored a lesser man but, perversely, only increased his attraction to her.

‘That was sonot a French accent,’ she sneered.

‘Didn’t stop you checking me out though, did it?’ he said smugly, knowing his words would get a rise.She didn’t disappoint.

‘How dare you!I was not checking you out!’ she exclaimed, eyes open wide as the flush on her neck deepened.

‘Hmm, debateable,’ replied Finn with a brief smile which had the effect of increasing Jenny’s heartrate by several notches. ‘Regardless,’ he continued, confidently taking several steps closer to her.As though part of a well-choreographed dance, Jenny immediately took several steps backwards, until she was pushed up hard against the body of her car.

‘I believe there’s an outstanding payment remaining between us?’ he stated.

‘I’m sorry?’ she stuttered, gazing up at him stupidly, suddenly overwhelmed by his proximity.If it was possible, the man was even more delectable close up and smelt positively edible; a potent mixture of aftershave and pheromones were making her feel quite dizzy with lust.

‘You heard me,’ he murmured, taking the opportunity to move slightly closer still.Dropping one hand on the roof of her car, he was inches away from her astonished features. ‘You got to bog off, in exchange for a kiss,’ he reminded her, dark eyes twinkling with devilish delight.

‘No!’ Jenny squeaked, her voice almost failing, breathless at finding herself in the full spotlight of his attention.

‘Unless you want me to believe that, as well as being prejudice, another of your character flaws is reneging on deals?’ he growled softly.

‘No, but…’

‘Good,’ he breathed, still hovering above.Slowly, Jenny’s sparkling eyes fluttered closed as she breathed out an almost imperceptible sigh of surrender.Finn couldn’t help but smile inwardly to himself, pleased to be able to read through her bluster to the blatant body language she exuded beneath.

‘Hey, man!’ exclaimed an amused voice.

Jenny’s bright, blue eyes snapped back open, only to find Jimmy Jones acting as her unexpected saviour.

‘Uh-huh,’ replied Finn, slowly turning his head to face his friend, without retracting from his proximity to Jenny’s body.

‘This Saturday, I’m having a party to celebrate my album going platinum.Just a few friends.Nothing too crazy.You’ll be there?’

‘Sounds great,’ replied Finn with a brief smile.

‘And, of course, you’re more than welcome too,’ he added to Jenny.She did her best to respond with thanks but, instead, ever so stylishly, emitted only a dry rasp.

‘Well, I’ll leave you two in peace,’ Jimmy shrugged before strolling away.For a moment, the two of them watched him go, looking super-cool with a shopping bag in one hand and his mobile phone in the other.He looked like any other bloke you might see down the supermarket, rather than one that’s just made a thousand pounds during a short conversation in the car park.

Before Jenny knew it, Finn’s full attention had been restored.

‘W..what?’ she stuttered, having existed for as long as she could bear, under his scrutinising gaze.He was so close that, although their bodies were not yet physically touching, she was aware of every movement he made.His slow, steady breaths seemed so controlled, compared to her short, sharp, shallow ones.And the less said about her pulse rate, the better; it had hit critical some minutes previously.

‘I’m just weighing up whether I should cash in my payment now, or allow you to exist in my debt for a little longer,’ he admitted astutely.

‘The latter,’ she immediately bit back, trying to hide just how aroused she was becoming.It had been a long time since she’d experienced such physical longing. ‘Then, hopefully, our paths will never cross again.’Yet, although Jenny spoke the words, the conviction in her tone wasn’t really present. 

‘You’re not a believer in carpe diem, then?’ he queried with a twisted smile.‘Seize the day, strike whilst the iron’s hot, make hay while the sun shines, or any manner of additional clichés we might choose to live our lives by?’

‘Never put off to tomorrow, what you can do today,’ said Jenny, helpfully trying to add to his list.

‘My sentiments exactly,’ he growled, moving a large, warm hand to gently cup her cheek.

‘I didn’t mean…’ she inhaled in shock as the feel of his skin on hers for the first time caused a wave of lightheadedness to sweep through her.

‘Did you not?’ he sighed, before tentatively allowing his lips to softly brush against hers, barely touching.Jenny’s reaction was immediate and unexpected.Groaning with deep contentment, her eyes flickered closed, failing to fight Finn in any way.Surprised, yet delighted, he returned for more, responding to the pressure of her trembling lips. 

With a low, animalistic moan, Jenny felt her eyes roll backwards as her mouth started to open up to him in submission.Her entire body was primed; in that single moment, there was nothing but him and the glorious sensations their combined mouths were clearly capable of creating.Perhaps it was the unexpected nature of their meeting, or the fact that she knew absolutely nothing about this stranger who she seemed unable to do anything but squabble with, but she had never felt the desirous power of attraction like this before.

As their kiss deepened, Finn’s hands never stopped in their tender caress.Their bodies naturally melded together and Jenny became aware of his thick, heavy erection wedged between their shaking frames.With her panties growing wetter by the second, the knowledge that he was equally turned on, helped her grow in confidence.Daringly, her hands started to explore his broad back and strong, powerful arms. The feel of his well-muscled shoulders immediately transported Jenny into a fantasy whereby he was holding his body weight above her, whilst he slowly, assuredly slid deep inside…

Suddenly, quite unexpectedly, Finn pulled away, leaving a panting Jenny leaning heavily against the body of her car.In the absence of contact, she pressed her lips together to savour the remaining taste of him. 

‘Thank you,’ he muttered in a quiet voice. ‘Consider yourself released from my debt.’

Slowly, she blinked open her eyes, staring stupidly up at him whilst trying to understand what had just happened.Feelings of hurt and shame began to flood her body, immediately drowning out the dopamine that had quite happily been encouraging her onwards, just moments before.Swiftly, anger became the dominant response; anger for her weakness, for her gullibility and for allowing him to talk her into ignoring her first impressions which were almost always correct.

‘I knew it!’ she erupted, bristling with indignation which immediately made her go on the attack.‘You take what you want, from whomever you want, and then just move on.’

‘And there are those prejudices again,’ he observed dryly. ‘Never far from the surface.’

‘I could report you for…for…for sexual harassment,’ she accused wildly.His rich laughter filled the air at the absurdity of her statement.

‘Really?You’re going to try and make out that what just happened between us was one-sided?’

‘Screw you!’ she snarled, eyes blazing.

‘I would dearly love to screw you,’ he murmured, almost as much to himself as anyone.Amused by Jenny’s shocked gasp, he took full advantage of her temporary inability to verbally attack him.‘If you were to check your bog off packaging, you might conclude that you’re wrong about me.’

With a sideways glance, Jenny opened her car and pulled out the packets of biscuits in question.Sure enough, there, tucked between the inner and outer packaging, was his business card.With a cursory glance, she looked back up at him spitefully, hating that he was one step ahead, always able to predict her responses.

‘Thanks, but I use old newspapers to light the fire,’ she spat.‘So, I don’t need this.’

‘Come on,’ he said encouragingly with a teasing twinkle in his eye.‘Why don’t you try to suppress your many and varied prejudices and be my date on Saturday night?’Jenny knew he was referring to Jimmy’s ice-cool party.She felt a frisson of excitement about the thought of attending and immediately hated herself for being so shallow.

‘You’re a Bastard!’

‘Better than being a Pricktease,’ he observed dispassionately, disappointed that he’d clearly overplayed his hand quite so spectacularly. Jenny’s eyes automatically darted down to his groin.The sight of a substantial bulge in his trousers doubled her anger, in memory of the amazing way he’d made her feel.

‘Go to hell!’ she growled, screwing up his business card in her tightly clenched hand.In an attempt to be unpredictable, she threw it at his feet, hating her decision for doing so, even before the piece of card was released.Storming around her vehicle, she jumped in, revved the engine with unnecessary ferocity and roared away.Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, she mused as she angrily put her seatbelt on, in order to cease the continuous safety alarms echoing around her.What the hell was wrong with her?

Finn leaned back on his car and exhaled a long, deep sigh. So, that didn’t go as well as he’d hoped.Watching her speed out of the car park, aware of blood continuing to pump to his swollen cock, Jimmy’s words echoed through his head.“When it’s right, you just know.”And, despite evidence to the contrary, he knew this woman was right. Even though that knowledge scared the shit out of him; he didn’t have the best track record of selecting appropriate women.Yet, he had seen straight through all her defensive layers to read the person she was beneath, and he more than liked what he saw.The fact that she physically looked like an angel was simply a bonus. How the hell was he going to find her again?

------------------

This is a sneak preview of my latest novel, due to be released on Amazon and free on Kindle Unlimited from Wednesday 25th September 2019.

www.fenellaashworth.com

------------------


© Copyright 2020 Fenella Ashworth. All rights reserved.

Chapters

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

Other Content by Fenella Ashworth

More Great Reading

Popular Tags